Borno Police Leads Special Security Committee To Unravel ISWAP’s Killings of Metal Scavengers

By Abdulkareem Haruna

Borno’s CP Abdu Umar speaking on Committee’s task concerning Scrap Metal business. Video Credit: Abdulkareem/THT

The Borno state commissioner of police, Abdu Umar, is leading a committee of security chiefs in the state to unravel the sources of scrap metal businesses that have recently become a major cause of deaths to over 60 scavengers in hinterland villages.

Governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum, had on Friday, June 10, summoned a special security meeting following the massacre of 23 IDPs who were in the bushes around the Dikwa local government area to scavenge for scrapped metals on Tuesday, June 7,

Humanitarian Times can report that IDPs in hinterlands of Borno, who have no sufficient means of livelihood due to lean space for farming, have resort to going into the bush locations to search for metals off destroyed vehicles and other public structures.

The IDPs have been running into the troubles of marauding ISWAP terrorists who hardly spare their lives for encroaching their controlled locations.

Last month, at least 45 scrapped metal scavenging IDPs were beheaded in Kala Balge’s local government area of Borno state by suspected ISWAP terrorists.

To that effect, the state government had, at the end of the Friday security meeting, mandated a special security team led by the CP of Borno state, and membered by the state director DSS, the garrison Commander and the Commandant of NCDC, to unravel the sources of the metal scraps and also establish the legality of the multibillion rusty business.

The Committee Inspecting Some Dumps of Scrap Metal Seized by government. Photo Credit: Abdulkareem/THT

The committee was also mandated to unravel the sources of most of the scrap metals coming into the city of Maiduguri from the hinterland. This, the CP said became imperative because the state government had a copious intel that most of the scraps were from vandalized public properties.

The CP and his team met with leaders of the Scrap Metal Union, led by Umar Usman, who denied any form of association with the slain IDP scavengers.

“We are interrogating the whole issue to come up with a concrete report to serve the government so that the government will, in turn, come up with a policy that will regulate scrap metal business,” CP Umar said.

“The government had had serious and terrible experiences where government infrastructure have been vandalised and individual vehicles  were cannibalized. More so, if you recall, places like Kala Balge and Dikwa have been attacked and these attacks are connected to people removing scraps from within the areas.

A confiscated van loaded with scraps. Photo Credit: Abdulkareem/THT

“To our greatest surprise, the Chairman of the Scrap Dealers Association said none of the scavengers killed in Kalabalge and Dikwa Local Government Areas is their members. This is the reason why we must investigate deeply.”

Mr Usman said his union with over 3000 members across Borno state operate with laid down procedures especially when it got to do with buying scrapped metal from people.

“As far as I’m concerned, and being the Chairman of scrap dealers association with over 3000 members here in Borno State, none of my members were killed in Kalabalge and Dikwa. Those killed were IDPs scavenging for scrap metals to sell and feed their families,” Mr Usman said.

CP Umar said at the end of their assignment the committee will “bring out a concrete report and suggestions” which he hopes will serve the government and also enable the government to formulate a policy that will make this business a more genuine and safer enterprise.

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